Fire and Ice, a Poem by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Alright, another adventure down the gullet of poetry.

Today, I’m reading Fire and Ice, a creation by Robert Frost, a poet I have always had fond memories of. And that’s not because I think he’s anymore brilliant than his peers in the literature, but because he wrote poems that touch on interesting ideas while remaining accessible to people like myself, who are relatively untrained in reading poetry.

With my first reading, I basically knew what Frost was getting at. With my second, I confirmed that I’m probably correct in my intuitions, but I found that there’s more to unpack in Frost’s meaning.

It seems that Frost was inclined to believe that between greed and hatred, greed would be more likely to bring about the world’s undoing. I agree with this sentiment, as it seems to me that we, as a society, are more forgiving of greed than we are of hatred. Or perhaps it’s more correct to say that greed is the more prevalent of the two, while hatred is by nature more devastating.

Partly to blame, I think, is that our society seems to have more difficulty ascertaining what counts as greed and what does not. As a result, greed run rampant and unchecked, while hatred must bypass more legal and cultural safeguards.

Yet, all that being said, as Frost seems to say, both could do the job, either together or separately.

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